276. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


  • PRM 8–Track III (North-South)


  • State
  • Warren Christopher
  • Richard Cooper
  • Anthony Lake
  • Defense
  • David McGiffert
  • Dr. Ellen Frost
  • JCS
  • Lt. Gen. William Y. Smith
  • CIA
  • Dr. Robert Bowie
  • [name not declassified]
  • OMB
  • Bowman Cutter
  • Randy Jayne
  • Treasury
  • C. Fred Bergsten
  • AID
  • Governor John J. Gilligan
  • Philip Birnbaum
  • USUN
  • Ambassador Andrew Young
  • Ambassador Melissa Wells
  • OSTP
  • Frank Press
  • White House
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • David Aaron
  • NSC
  • Guy Erb
  • Thomas Thornton
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The PRC met on September 22 to consider PRM 8-Track III, the PRM 8 working group’s report on US relations with the developing countries over the next twelve months. The working group’s report requested PRC decisions on six points.2

1. Basic Policy Framework. The PRC decided that the US approach to North-South issues set out in PRM 8-Track III is sound. (It was pointed out that strategic issues would have to be taken into account in a comprehensive framework for North-South relations.) The importance of delivering on US commitments was emphasized as was the likelihood that US capacity to deliver would fall short of expectations in the developing world. Developing-country reactions to what they perceive as inadequate US initiatives may create tensions toward the end of the next twelve months.

2. Quantitative Targets. After a review of the issues posed by the use of targets, the PRC decided to ask the Development Coordination Committee to undertake a study of specific, achievable targets which could be appropriately used by the US for internal planning as well as in international discussions, for example, during the preparations for the Third Development Decade.

3. Role of the UN in the North-South Dialogue. The PRC was informed of the President’s directive to (a) steer UNGA North-South discussions toward broad issues, (b) avoid negotiations within the General Assembly, and (c) negotiate on specific issues within functional bodies.3

On the question of a review mechanism within the UN, it was pointed out that the circumstances had changed since the President had discussed the issue of CIEC follow-up with President Perez. Discussions at the 32nd UNGA were focusing on two possibilities for a UN review of the North-South dialogue: (1) the Second Committee of the UNGA, and (2) the ECOSOC, if it were made more effective as a result of a UN restructuring exercise. The PRC agreed that it might be necessary to reconsider this issue according to developments during the 32nd UNGA.

4. Participation of LDCs in the International System. The PRC agreed to ask the PRM 8 working group to explore means of increasing LDC involvement in international organizations.

5. Basic Human Needs (BHN). The PRC reviewed the issues posed by PRM 8-Track III and decided to defer the discussion of BHN until October 11 when PRM 8-Track III, the DCC report, and the Brookings study could be examined simultaneously.

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6. Follow-up. The PRC agreed to hold a meeting in October on a US policy toward negotiations on a common fund.

The PRC agreed to ask the working group to make another report early in 1978. That report will contain the working group’s findings on participation of LDCs in international organizations. It will also analyze the most important of key issues identified at Tab B to PRM 8-Track III.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 65, PRC 038 9/22/77 North/South Issues—PRM 8. Confidential. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. Brzezinski initialed at the end of the summary.
  2. See Document 274.
  3. See Document 275.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 274.